Poll reveals lack of menopause conversations
Three quarters (75%) of British women have openly admitted to not discussing the menopause with their loved ones when growing up – a realisation that could explain the lack of understanding of the hormone deficiency that is crippling half of the population.
A further 5% of the 6,000 respondents in an online survey, GP and Menopause Specialist Dr Louise Newson, recalled it being discussed once, 19% said it was discussed occasionally, but just 1% said it was discussed on a regular basis.
The findings, which are released today to coincide with the publication of Dr Louise’s new book, The Definitive Guide to the Perimenopause and Menopause, also reveal a third of respondents have never discussed the menopause with their mother.
Just over a third (38%) said they had occasionally discussed menopause with their mother, 13% had once.
Don’t keep mum on menopause
The lack of discussion seemed to widen among the generations, with 83% of respondents saying they had never discussed the menopause with a grandmother.
The findings have prompted Dr Louise to plead with mothers across the country to not keep mum on the hormone deficiency, but instead encourages a dialogue at home about the perimenopause and the menopause, in a bid to raise awareness and educate our younger generation.
‘Whilst it’s a parent’s natural instinct to want to protect our children from what’s happening, the more they understand the happier your home life will be,’ said Dr Louise.
‘No matter if you have young children or teens, they will likely feel the impact of what you’re going through.
‘Children may feel like they have done something wrong, or they might worry about your health. It can be a confusing time if they don’t understand why their mother is acting differently and could potentially lead to a change in the behaviour from your child as well.
‘Without even speaking about the changes you’re experiencing; your family members will feel that something is different and may not understand what is happening. Your children may feel that you’re unapproachable, or that you aren’t placing as much importance on them, when in fact brain fog is simply affecting your temporary memory.’
Barriers to menopause conversations in families
When asked what the key barriers (if any) to family menopause discussions were, survey respondents said a lack of knowledge was the most common reason, followed by embarrassment, lack of communication, being short on time and feelings of shame around the topic.
Children aside, opening a conversation about the menopause with other female members of your family could give you an insight into what you can expect from your own experience when it comes to the perimenopause and menopause.
To help parents, Dr Louise has created a helpful guide to enable parents to be comfortable with bringing up the conversation with their loved ones.
All about Dr Louise Newson’s new book
The Definitive Guide to the Perimenopause and Menopause covers the key facts about hormones, their importance, and their effects on our bodies. It explores family histories and their effects on menopause, the complete guide to HRT, libidos, mental and physical health, how menopause affects our careers and relationships and so much more.
The book contains exclusive new medical research and answers the questions women most often ask Dr Louise in her clinic. There are real stories from women who want their experiences shared to benefit others. And there is clear advice from other medical experts in related fields including mental health, dermatology, nutrition, psychology and oncology.
Dr Louise says: ‘A lack of knowledge about the perimenopause and menopause and poor access to treatments has left women needlessly suffering for decades.
‘Every day I receive so many messages from those who are struggling to cope and are desperate for answers. I have written this book to help women to feel informed, empowered and confident about getting the best menopause care, regardless of their age, background or health history.
‘From symptoms to treatments and taking a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, this book is going to take away the guesswork for those going through menopause. I want this book to transform the way we think about perimenopause and menopause and to help everyone who reads it.’
The Definitive Guide to the Perimenopause and Menopause is Published by Yellow Kite and available on from 16th March 2023 in Hardback, eBook and audio (£18.99).